Hounds put away WCCA to finish tied for No. 2 slot in District 7-1A

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; Jason Reed fears neither any hand in his face nor his proximity to the basket.

If the ball resides comfortably in his grasp, especially if Reed is standing behind the 3-point arc, chances are the orange, leather sphere is about to take flight.

And the probability is even greater that the ball will squeeze between an iron circle and travel through a nylon net.

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&uot;As good of a shooter he is, he’s got an even better heart,&uot;

Wilkinson County Christian Academy head coach Ray Olive said. &uot;We’ve got a bunch of others on this team that will play with that much heart. I’m proud of all of them.&uot;

Despite Reed’s 40 points and eight treys, the Rams (5-14, 5-7 MPSA district 7-A) turned the ball over countless times Tuesday in a 62-55 loss to Huntington (13-12, 8-3 MPSA district 7-A).

The win forces a playoff game between Huntington and Tensas Academy Thursday at 6 p.m. at Franklin Academy to determine who gets the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds when the South State Championship starts next Monday at Glenbrook School in Minden, La..

WCCA is already in.

Jordan Owens led four Hound players in double figures with 16 points on Senior Night at Huntington.

&uot;We knew WCCA was going to give us a great effort,&uot; Huntington head coach Michael McAnally said. &uot;Anytime you’ve got a guy of Reed’s talent, you know it’s going to be a war.&uot;

Coming back to the court from halftime with a 6-point advantage, 34-28, Huntington withstood a barrage of Reed’s bombs.

The Rams cut their deficit to a bucket, 39-37, with 4:46 to play on the last of three consecutive 3-pointers from Reed.

But after that WCCA did not score until the last 82 seconds of the third period.

Huntington took advantage of the Rams turnovers during the drought and used an 11-0 run to regain the momentum of the game.

&uot;Huntington played real hard tonight. This is the kind of game you want to be in (before South State),&uot; Olive said. &uot;Tonight we just wanted to position ourselves for next week and work on some things we haven’t done this year.&uot;

The third period surge was sparked by Josh Olds, who had back-to-back baskets in the paint after Reed’s third 3-pointer.

Olds finished with 12 points off the bench, with Patrick Clayton and Kyle Johnson contributing 10 apiece.

&uot;He’s done a great job for us since returning from the holidays,&uot; McAnally said of Olds. &uot;He plays a lot bigger than his size down low and is able to get in there and mix it up.&uot;

On the strength of their run, the Hounds were able to push their lead into double digits when Owens scored with 1:36 left in the third to cap the run.

Reed narrowed the gap to nine by period’s end, though, as he was the only WCCA player to register points in the third.

With help in the fourth, the Rams drew closer, 54-50, with 3:09 to play when Reed connected on his seventh long-distance call of the night.

&uot;We didn’t come in here to lose and I knew my kids were going to give it their all,&uot; Olive said. &uot;This was a good ending to the regular season and hopefully a good beginning to the postseason.&uot;

This time an 8-0 run down the stretch, capped off by consecutive buckets from Olds turned the lights out and warmed the bus for the Rams.

&uot;We got some great looks at the basket tonight,&uot; McAnally said. &uot;I may not have as many shooters as some teams, but I’ve got a lot of great scorers.&uot;

Huntington girls 64, WCCA 33

Every senior got to play and every senior scored for the Lady Hounds, as the four veterans &045; Sarah Ashmore, Tiffany Ferguson, Emily Hazlip and Katie Cole &045; played their final game on Huntington’s court.

It was sophomore Erin Hedrick, though, who led the Lady Hounds (21-8, 9-0 MPSA district 7-A) with 16 points as Ashmore and Hazlip chipped in with 14 each and Ferguson added 10.

What was once a 12-point lead in the second period was cut to eight on a WCCA Jordan Whitaker basket with 2:26 before halftime.

Huntington coach Michael McAnally called a timeout, regrouped his club and they responded by ending the half on an 8-1 run.

The Lady Hounds never let up in the second half.

Caroline Kee led the Lady Rams with 12 points.